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Discussion Week 7 – The Politics of Food Production
Select one of the following questions: (Please copy and paste your choice of question as your header so that readers know what you are writing about)
1. What is the % of children living below the poverty line in the US. Compare this number to that of other industrialized nations. How does the US compare? What do you think living in poverty does to the decision-making of parents when it comes to the quality of their child’s nutrition? What does your research tell you are the top 2 reasons why poor parents are more likely to allow their children junk food than more affluent parents?
2. As sociologists, we can ask: what institutions influence childhood obesity? How would they need to shift in order to deliver high-quality nutrition to children? Do children experience other ill-effects, on a societal level, from obesity? Do you think that high-profile initiatives like First Lady Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, in limiting sodas and junk food in schools, are useful in influencing structural changes that affect children?
3. Companies that create junk food insist that they have a right to sell products, including products marketed to children. Communities insist that they have a right to protect themselves from harm, including the harm posed by skyrocketing ill-health caused by poor nutrition and the societal costs associated with that. Consider these arguments and present pros and cons of each side on the subject of banning the sale or advertising of such foods specifically to children. Which is more compelling to you? Which other nations prohibit such marketing? Should supermarkets be required to limit the amount of non-nutritious junk food they put on their shelves? What aspects of American cultural ideology present barriers to any or all of such proposals?
Learning Objectives completed this week:
Compare and contrast a wide diversity of foodways, cross-culturally.
Examine various theories used to explain different cross-cultural food customs
Differentiate the meaning various foods play in the cultural traditions and beliefs of peoples world-wide
Analyze a variety of religious, economic, medical and ecological reasons for the various different foods people choose to consume